US, Britain impose more sanctions on Hamas officials | Inquirer News

US, Britain impose more sanctions on Hamas officials

/ 08:18 AM December 14, 2023

US and Britain impose more sanctions on Hamas officials

Palestinian fighters from the armed wing of Hamas take part in a military parade to mark the anniversary of the 2014 war with Israel, near the border in the central Gaza Strip, July 19, 2023. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/File Photo

The United States and Britain on Wednesday imposed an additional round of sanctions on people in Turkey and elsewhere who are linked to the Palestinian Hamas militant group, the US Treasury Department said.

The sanctions target eight officials who advance Hamas’ agenda and interests abroad and help manage its finances, the Treasury said in a statement.


“Hamas continues to rely heavily on networks of well-placed officials and affiliates, exploiting seemingly permissive jurisdictions to direct fundraising campaigns for the group’s benefit and funneling those illicit proceeds to support its military activities in Gaza,” said Brian Nelson, Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.


Several of the Hamas officials targeted were based in Turkey, including one of the group’s key financial operatives there, Haroun Mansour Yaqoub Nasser Al-Din, Treasury said.

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Haroun Nasser Al-Din has been involved in a network that transferred money from Turkey and Gaza to the Hamas command center in the West Bank city of Hebron, it said and helped subsidize Hamas activities to further unrest in the West Bank.

Nelson traveled to Oman and Turkey at the end of November to work on US efforts to deny Hamas and other groups the ability to raise and move funds.

It was the fourth round of US sanctions on the Palestinian militant group following its deadly incursion into Israel on Oct. 7, which Israel says killed 1,200 people. Israel’s subsequent military retaliation has killed 18,000 people in Gaza, local health officials say.

In coordinated actions on Wednesday, Britain’s foreign office said it sanctioned seven additional people linked to Hamas, including Mahmoud Zahar, Hamas’ co-founder, and Ali Baraka, Hamas’ head of external relations whom the United States also sanctioned.


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The UK sanctions also target a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group and figures in the financial network that backs Hamas, including individuals in Lebanon and Algeria.

“Hamas can have no future in Gaza. Today’s sanctions on Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad will continue to cut off their access to funding and isolate them further,” British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said.

It was Britain’s second round of sanctions against Hamas since the Oct. 7 attacks.

The sanctions actions block all property and interests in property of the designated persons in the United States and Britain, as well as transactions involving the individuals targeted.

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Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters that the sanctions were unjustified, and Hamas later said they were based on false allegations.

“We call on the American administration and the British government once again to review their aggressive policies towards our Palestinian people,” Hamas said in a statement.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen welcomed the latest sanctions and called on other countries to follow suit, “as only a persistent uncompromising struggle will lead to the collapse of the Hamas government.”

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Others cited by the United States include Ismail Musa Ahmad Barhum, who helped to collect money from global fundraising into Hamas finance ministry accounts, the Treasury Department said, and Jihad Muhammad Shaker Yaghmour, Hamas’ official representative to Turkey.

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The sanctions targeted Mehmet Kaya, also based in Turkey, over his involvement in multiple money transfers on behalf of Hamas, “ultimately providing tens of millions of dollars of financial services for Hamas,” it said.

TAGS: Israel-Hamas war, Sanctions, United States

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